Well, here it is, folks. We’ve all been preparing ourselves for the inevitable angst this week, but when it hits, it hits hard. Da-hyun and Jae-in still find the time to be adorably cute together, but unfortunately, that cuteness is somewhat muted behind the force of the separation they have to face. We can only hope that love truly overcomes all — but for now, bring on the tissues!
EPISODE 14: “Lies: Will time really heal me?”
Jae-in cheekily asks if Da-hyun’s going to give him a “Good job!” stamp on his hand again, and she traces the words out on his palm. He pulls her in, kissing her on her head, and she returns the favor with a peck on his cheek.
Even when the two of them get home, they’re still chatting away on the phone, and it seems they just can’t get enough of one another. The days fly by as they make the most of their time left by going on cute, simple dates — from exercising, to listening to music, to going on nighttime strolls, they just try to be together for as long as possible.
One morning, Da-hyun wakes up after a call from Jae-in and notices the date on her calendar. The realization that their contract relationship is almost over slowly starts to sink in.
At school, Jae-in’s mother comes to have a talk with Da-hyun, and Da-hyun greets her with slight apprehension. Jae-in’s mother explains to Da-hyun that she considers Jae-in her real son even though they’re not related by blood, and that she therefore hopes that he will inherit SH Group one day.
Before Jae-in’s mother even mentions her concerns about their relationship, Da-hyun politely tells her not to worry, saying that she and Jae-in are not considering marriage. Surprised, Jae-in’s mother asks why Da-hyun would think that she’s worried, and Da-hyun points out that Jae-in’s mother must truly treasure Jae-in if she came all the way here to speak to her.
Da-hyun reassures her that she and Jae-in don’t have much time left together, leaving Jae-in’s mother a little taken aback by her thoughtful response. As Jae-in’s mother leaves the school, she takes a last look around, sighing that it’s a pity.
At Grandpa’s house, Jae-in’s mother says that she understands why Grandpa introduced Da-hyun to Jae-in. Although she makes it clear that she’s still against the relationship, she concedes that it’s a shame that Da-hyun and Jae-in can’t be together. Perhaps hoping to change her mind, Grandpa voices his support for Da-hyun once again, pointing out that Da-hyun’s selflessness is quite rare these days.
That night, Da-hyun sits at home, staring listlessly at the contract end-date on her calendar. “So tomorrow’s the last day,” she murmurs, flashing back to the time Jae-in asked her to walk with him until the very end. In the present, Da-hyun’s tears spill out endlessly as she repeats to herself what she had said to Jae-in that night: “We’re not supposed to.”
She quickly wipes her tears away when Jae-in calls, doing her best to hide the fact that she had been crying just seconds ago. She meets with him at a café nearby and the mood is heavy, though Da-hyun does her best to be direct about their situation.
She comments that it’s their last day tomorrow, asking what he has planned. Jae-in suggests that they go on a day-trip together, noting that they’ve never gone anywhere particularly far, and Da-hyun agrees to do just that.
On the ride there, Da-hyun notes that she and Jae-in have extremely different tastes in music — she likes pop and he likes classical. Taking her hand in his, Jae-in responds, “While that may be true, we’ve been fine together thus far anyway.” Da-hyun smiles.
When they get to the beach, Jae-in notices Da-hyun staring into the distance and asks if she doesn’t like the ocean. Da-hyun replies that she’s just having deep thoughts in his stead, joking that he’d probably be thinking something along the lines of whether or not this location would be suitable to build a resort, ha.
He laughs good-naturedly and comments that while they’ve dated for six months, there’s still so much that they haven’t gotten a chance to do. Da-hyun agrees and then points at a nearby couple excitedly, suggesting that they walk along the shoreline barefoot.
Jae-in balks at the idea, but reluctantly agrees upon Da-hyun’s insistence. He grumpily wonders how this can even be considered romantic, but immediately concedes that it’s quite romantic indeed when Da-hyun offers her hand for him to hold.
When the tide comes in, he shouts again that he doesn’t understand why they’re doing this, but nevertheless plays merrily with Da-hyun, jokingly pushing her into the water and taking selfies with her.
They take a break at a café nearby, and Da-hyun explains that since it’s their last date, she wants to do everything that they haven’t done before — that way, they’ll have fewer regrets later on. Jae-in points out that there are a lot of other things that they haven’t done, and Da-hyun says that she knows, but they’ll just have to do those things on their own.
Jae-in asks what Da-hyun plans to do after their relationship ends, and Da-hyun says that she wants to meet a good man. “A person who helps a child get back up after he’s tripped, a person who buys crying kids gifts and cheers them up, a person who’s considerate towards his elders,” she lists, all the while flashing back to the selfless things that Jae-in has done for others.
Not realizing the extent of his own kindness, Jae-in notes that she’s looking for someone who’s pretty different from him, and Da-hyun laughs. Jae-in pouts a little and tells Da-hyun to wait for him as he goes off to get something.
Meanwhile, at Grandpa’s house, Grandpa notes to Employee Kang that today’s the end. Just as Grandpa dismisses Employee Kang for the day, his hand begins to tremble violently, and Employee Kang asks worriedly if he’s all right. Grandpa brushes the incident off with a joke, and Employee Kang almost believes him, at least until he notices Grandpa’s heavy breathing.
At the café, Jae-in returns to their table and places a bag in front of her, telling her that it’s an early birthday present to make up for how he hasn’t given her much.
She opens it up excitedly, and it’s a necklace — Jae-in says it probably wouldn’t have been appropriate for him to get her a ring, but he still made sure to pick out the most expensive item. Da-hyun jokingly chides him for judging quality based on price, but she likes it nonetheless.
She struggles to put the necklace on herself, and Jae-in gets up to help her, carefully clasping the necklace together. He comments that it looks good on her, and she agrees that it’s pretty.
At his office, Grandpa barely even makes it a few steps when he collapses atop the table, wheezing heavily. He grabs the capsule on the chain around his neck to consume the medicine inside, and once he does so, his condition seems to stabilize. He makes his way next door, but it’s not long before we hear a thud to the floor. Oh no, Grandpa!
Jae-in suggests to Da-hyun that they spend the whole day together, but Da-hyun protests, saying that they’re supposed to break up today. She notes that Jae-in is a bit of a bad guy, and Jae-in jokes that he’s probably worse than she imagined, telling Da-hyun that he’ll do more than just hold her hand just so long as she asks.
Just as Da-hyun is about to agree to spend their day together though, Jae-in’s phone starts to ring. It’s a call from his mom telling him the news about Grandpa, but after Jae-in hangs up, he tells Da-hyun that he thinks Grandpa is just faking it — Grandpa is probably upset that the contract is over now, and likely thinks that getting hospitalized will somehow prevent the breakup. Da-hyun isn’t so sure, and urges Jae-in to go back immediately.
Jae-in takes Da-hyun home first, walking her to her doorstep as they prepare to bid one another farewell. Da-hyun begins by thanking him for all he’s done, from helping out with Ji-soo’s contract issues to the money he donated to the orphanage.
A little disappointed, Jae-in asks if that’s all she has to say, and Da-hyun’s voice wavers as she tells him that she can’t say anything more even if she wanted to. She notes that she is a bit sad, but assures Jae-in that she’ll get over it, adding that they agreed not to fall in love with one another.
Jae-in asks if Da-hyun didn’t fall for him, not even just a bit, and Da-hyun shoots the same question back at him — did he fall for her? Jae-in tells her that he did his best in order to fall in love with her, and Da-hyun smiles, saying that she’s thankful for that.
Slowly making his way towards her, Jae-in pulls Da-hyun in for a hug, and Da-hyun hesitatingly reciprocates it. Jae-in tells her that she’s a good woman, and Da-hyun replies that she knows. She adds that he’s not a particularly good guy, and Jae-in acknowledges it. Aw,
He pulls her in for another hug, and Da-hyun tells Jae-in not to meet too good of a woman, because if he does, she would just end up feeling bad for her. Jae-in doesn’t want the same from Da-hyun though, and asks her to meet a good man — that way, he says, he will feel less sorry toward her.
In the car, Jae-in receives a phone call from Employee Kang that has him rushing to the hospital. The doctor tells Jae-in that Grandpa’s not in critical condition because he managed to take his medicine in time, but he’s surprised to hear that no one in the family knew of Grandpa’s health problems.
Jae-in directs Employee Kang to keep the situation completely confidential and asks Employee Kang to get the word out about SH Group’s new management and heir. Humbly, Jae-in requests for Employee Kang to take care of him, saying that Employee Kang is one of the few people he trusts.
At Grandpa’s house, Jae-in reassures his mother that he’s fulfilled the conditions in Grandpa’s will, and that he’s broken it off with Da-hyun already. Jae-in’s mother starts to ask if Da-hyun mentioned anything else, but brushes it off when Jae-in clearly has no idea what she’s talking about. She tells Jae-in that she’ll take care of Grandpa, adding that she’s relieved Jae-in will be at the company.
At home, Da-hyun slowly crosses out the contract end-date on her calendar, and at work, Jae-in stares wistfully at the selfie they took at the beach.
Over the phone with Da-hyun, her mother is glad to hear that things have ended. Her mother tries setting Da-hyun up on another blind date, but Da-hyun cuts in — with a cracking voice, she asks her mom to give her some time to get herself together. She quickly ends the call, and a tear falls down her cheek as she starts to cry.
The next day, Jae-in pulls up to SH Group with a spiffy suit, newly coiffed hair, and an entourage in tow, making him look the part of the new CEO. As the days go on, he proves himself a successful and capable leader, though it’s worth noting that his work has completely taken over his life now.
Lawyer Park visits Jae-in at his office and chides him for letting Da-hyun go, saying that he had believed the couple would be able to overcome anything and everything. Jae-in responds: “Do you know how many bodyguards follow me around right now? Da-hyun would have to live like that, too.”
Jae-in points out that Joo-hee might be crazy, but there’s no guarantee that Da-hyun won’t be kidnapped again. Da-hyun would have to attend all the stiflingly formal public events as his wife, and even her daily life would be suffocating with reporters watching her every move. Jae-in doesn’t want to take away the freedom that she has now.
Lawyer Park says that Da-hyun would be able to handle it if she has Jae-in by her side, but Jae-in cuts him off, pointing out that he’d be spending all his time at work while Da-hyun would have to be alone all day. If Da-hyun were his wife, she’d have to endure everything on her own — that’s why he says he couldn’t possibly ask her to marry him.
Later that night, after Lawyer Park has left, Jae-in looks wistfully out his office window and keeps himself from texting Da-hyun. Da-hyun, too, is struggling over their breakup as she looks through her pictures with Jae-in when she’s at school. A coworker notices that Da-hyun seems to be unwell, but Da-hyun brushes it off, insisting that she’s fine.
On Da-hyun’s way home, she notices a news report on Jae-in and comments sadly that he seems like a totally different person. She finally gets home after a long day, but suddenly collapses onto the floor.
Luckily, Hyun-jin senses that there’s something amiss when she notices that Da-hyun isn’t picking up her calls. Hyun-jin lets herself into Da-hyun’s house and panics when she sees Da-hyun on the ground. Hyun-jin manages to get Da-hyun into bed, and her brother, Sun-woo, comes over to help out. Da-hyun has a fever, but it looks like she’ll be all right.
Hyun-jin wonders aloud if she should just kill Jae-in right now. But Sun-woo shakes his head, noting that if Da-hyun wasn’t the only one invested in the relationship, then Jae-in is likely to be suffering just as much as she is.
At the hospital, Jae-in pleads for Grandpa to wake up. Hesitatingly, he tells Grandpa that he broke up with Da-hyun and stifles back a sob, asking if Grandpa would call him an idiot for losing her. He breaks down, begging Grandpa to tell him that he did the right thing, adding that he’ll do his best to endure.
Hyun-jin frets over Da-hyun when she wakes up, and Da-hyun apologizes for worrying her. Da-hyun says that she’s fine now, though her tears say otherwise, leaving Hyun-jin to sigh in frustration.
At work, Jae-in gets a call from his “aunt” (his biological mom) about Soo-jung running away to Korea, and so he goes off to fetch her. He finds her after another audition (which went well this time), and scolds her for making her mom worry. He tells her to call her mom and say that she’s going back to Canada, but Soo-jung insists that she’s here to stay.
Sun-woo jokes to Hyun-jin that taking care of Da-hyun when she’s sick makes him feel like he’s her boyfriend, and Hyun-jin tells him he’d better not try to jump Da-hyun’s bones when she’s gone. Da-hyun urges both of them to leave, saying that they’re giving her a headache, and laughs weakly when Hyun-jin complains that this is the treatment she gets for nursing her all night.
At the hotel, Soo-jung whines that she wants to live with Jae-in and asks him if he hates her because he thinks that her dad stole his mom away. Jae-in comments that it looks like she still has a lot of maturing to do, seeing as how she’s saying such childish things, but he puts his arm around her in a show of brotherly affection.
It doesn’t look so brotherly when he runs into Hyun-jin though, since she thinks that Jae-in’s gotten himself a new girlfriend already. Hyun-jin tells Jae-in that Da-hyun is practically on her deathbed, adding that it must be nice to be able to move on so quickly.
Jae-in is surprised to hear that Da-hyun is sick, but Hyun-jin just tells him that it’s none of his business. She hears Soo-jung calling Jae-in “oppa” as she walks away and grows infuriated, cursing that she’ll never set foot in this damned hotel ever again.
That night, Jae-in drives over to Da-hyun’s house. Staring at her apartment from far below, he urges her not to be sick. Meanwhile, Da-hyun steps outside to the patio for some fresh air and looks out below, but Jae-in’s already driven away.
At the hospital, Grandpa finally wakes up and asks to go home, insisting that he’s not going to die. Jae-in says that he has to stay at the hospital for now, but both him and his mother are relieved to see that Grandpa has mostly recovered.
As usual, the employees at work hate Jae-in for being a workaholic and complain about his stringent demands. Employee Kang’s the only one who realizes that Jae-in is stretching himself just as thin and worries that Jae-in will faint if he continues pulling so many all-nighters.
Jae-in’s mother comes to visit him for lunch, and when she notes that his fridge is completely empty, Jae-in is reminded of the time that Da-hyun joked that his fridge was just for decoration. He breaks out of his daze to say that he doesn’t eat at home anyway.
Jae-in’s mother tries to broach the topic of setting him up on a blind date with the daughter of another wealthy family, but he rejects it immediately; having done his research, he explains that the girl’s family is going through a lawsuit and is probably tight on cash right now.
As he chats with his mother, he’s again reminded of Da-hyun when he spots the table where they ate breakfast together, and he struggles to control his expression. His mother notices his mood and seems to get a little concerned for him.
Jae-in visits Da-hyun’s school again, looking longingly at the school doors. He leaves without doing much, and we see Da-hyun walk across the same exact place later that day.
Speaking aloud, she says it would’ve been better if they had just fought instead — then Jae-in would’ve called her constantly to apologize. But now, Da-hyun notes sadly that they can’t even do that anymore as she sits all alone in front of her school.
If there are any silver linings to find in breakups, I’d have to say that I’m at least grateful for how honest Da-hyun and Jae-in are being with one another. Granted, Da-hyun is unwilling to explicitly say that she loves Jae-in because she knows that their relationship can’t go anywhere, but there’s no need for her to say it when Jae-in is already perfectly aware of her feelings.
They both knew that they cared for each other, even as they were separating, and while that might be what makes the breakup even more painful, it’s a far more respectable way of breaking up than the noble idiocy tactic. It was a very mature way of handling a breakup that neither of them wanted, and I also really respect Jae-in for the way he asked Da-hyun if she fell in love with him without pushing for her to admit that she did. In a way, sometimes simply saying things aloud can make a person more vulnerable, and by being the one to admit that he fell in love, he allowed himself to become vulnerable for Da-hyun’s sake, reassuring her that he loves her as much as she loves him.
It was a nice twist for Jae-in to be the one to tell Da-hyun to find someone better than him, because it really shows how much he’s changed. It broke my heart when he confessed to Lawyer Park that his real reason for not holding onto Da-hyun was because he didn’t want to take away her freedom and force her to live like he does, surrounded by bodyguards and reporters.
For better or for worse, Jae-in’s choice to let Da-hyun go was so practical and considerate that I’m just not sure how our couple will be able to overcome the obstacle that’s facing them. I would argue that Jae-in’s not giving Da-hyun enough credit where it’s due, and that she would be able to handle formal affairs as his wife, but we’ve seen how weary she got at the dinner party, even before being confronted by the witches of the family. While Da-hyun is probably perfectly capable of performing the duties of a respectable wife, what Jae-in is concerned about is whether or not she’ll be happy doing all of that, and that’s an important point to take into consideration.
Ultimately, marriage is more than just two people falling in love with each other and wanting to be with one another; families, friends, and work are all inextricably intertwined with marriage. What’s stopping Jae-in from proposing to Da-hyun isn’t that he doesn’t love her enough, but that his very identity as a chaebol keeps him from making her as happy as he wants to. It’s not something that he can change just because he wants to, and it’s not a circumstance that love is necessarily able to overcome.
I’ve felt terrible for Da-hyun every time I’ve watched her cry over Jae-in, but I think Jae-in’s crying scene at Grandpa’s bedside really took the cake — it spoke volumes about how much he takes on for the people that he cares about. As the expected heir of SH Group, Jae-in has built himself into a rather stoic man to hide how burdensome everything is. But the way Jae-in broke down, pleading for Grandpa to wake up and to tell him that he did a good job, really shows that all Jae-in has ever done in his corporate life was more for his family than it was for himself.
I find it interesting that Jae-in has so wholly accepted being characterized as a bad guy that he doesn’t even recognize how kind he truly is anymore. He knows that Da-hyun loves him, but he doesn’t seem to realize that he’s exactly the kind of “good man” that she was describing when they were at the café. It’s not even that Da-hyun really changed him from a bad guy into a good guy, but that there was always a good guy hidden beneath Jae-in’s stoic exterior, and Da-hyun gave him the opportunity to show that he’s more than that. In the end, I think that’s what makes their love truly valuable, and perhaps it’ll be a reason to keep holding on to one another until the very end.